nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒04‒18
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. School tracking and development of cognitive skills By Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Uusitalo, Roope; Kerr, Sari
  2. Unemployment and subsequent earnings for Swedish college graduates. A study of scarring effects By Gartell, Marie
  3. Education and citizenship in the knowledge society - towards the comparative study of national systems of education By Kap, Hrvoje
  4. A New Test of Borrowing Constraints for Education By Meta Brown; John Karl Scholz; Ananth Seshadri
  5. Education-Occupation Mismatch and the Effect on Wages of Egyptian Workers By Fatma El-Hamidi
  6. The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece By Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Livanos, Ilias
  7. An Australian Approach to School Design By Leigh Robinson; Taylor Robinson
  8. Including Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Schools in Ireland By Eamonn Greville
  9. The Gender Education Gap in China: The Power of Water By Maimaiti, Yasheng; Siebert, W. Stanley
  10. Does Affirmative Action Lead to Mismatch? A New Test and Evidence By Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban M. Aucejo; Hanming Fang; Kenneth I. Spenner
  11. San Diego’s Capital Planning Process By Michael Lytton
  12. Occupational Choice: Personality Matters By Ham, Roger; Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja); Wells, Robert
  13. Campania Region’s Educational Quality Facilities Project By Giorgio Ponti
  14. Risk Attitude and Wage Growth: Replication and Reconstruction By Budria, Santiago; Diaz-Serrano, Luis; Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada; Hartog, Joop

  1. By: Pekkarinen, Tuomas (Helsinki School of Economics); Uusitalo, Roope (Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT)); Kerr, Sari (Charles River Associates)
    Abstract: The Finnish comprehensive school reform replaced the old two-track school system with a uniform nine-year comprehensive school and significantly reduced the degree of heterogeneity in the Finnish primary and secondary education. We estimate the effect of this reform on the test scores in the Finnish Army Basic Skills test. The identification strategy relies on a differences-in-differences strategy and exploits the fact that the reform was implemented gradually across the country during a six-year period between 1972 and 1977. We find that the reform had a small positive effect on the verbal test scores but no effect on the mean performance in the arithmetic or logical reasoning tests. Still in all tests the reform improved the scores of students from families where parents had only basic education.
    Keywords: Education; school system; tracking; comprehensive school; test scores
    JEL: H52 I21
    Date: 2009–03–03
  2. By: Gartell, Marie (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study the long term effects of the college-to-work transition. The results reveal that unemployment immediately upon graduation has substantial and permanent effects on individual future earnings. Even for very short unemployment spells, estimated effects are statistically significant. These results are stable for the inclusion of a rich set of observable control variables, including grade point average from high school and parental educational level, and for choice of method i.e. OLS and propensity score matching.
    Keywords: Scarring; State dependence; Higher education; College-to-work
    JEL: J24 J31 J64
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Kap, Hrvoje (Swedish Institute for Social Research)
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to propose how education systems can be studied in relation to the welfare state and knowledge society in the global age. It begins by discussing the aims of education and relates these to the core values of social citizenship, arguing that access to the provision of education is a fundamental pillar of citizenship with the purpose of extending and enhancing life chances by general principles of social inclusion and equality of opportunity. It further on reviews a large body of comparative research which studies how the design of education institutions in various countries influences one important aspect of these aims, namely school-leavers’ entrance into the labour market. The third and last section investigates the possibilities and difficulties inherent in comparative studies of national systems of education, particularly with regard to questions concerning validity when constructing conceptual models and comparable indicators. The tentative conclusion of the paper is that further comparative endeavours should set out analyzing primarily input- and process-related features of compulsory education, and the dimensions of stratification and standardization of upper secondary education for an assessment of these institutions’ capacity to equip citizens with knowledge and skills for human flourishing.
    Keywords: education systems; social citizenship
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2008–08
  4. By: Meta Brown; John Karl Scholz; Ananth Seshadri
    Abstract: We discuss a simple model of intergenerational transfers with one-sided altruism: parents care about their child but the child does not reciprocate. Parents and children make investments in the child’s education, investments for other purposes, and parents can transfer cash to their child. We show that for an identifiable set of parent-child pairs, parents will rationally under-invest in their child’s education. For these parent-child pairs, additional financial aid will increase educational attainment. The model highlights an important feature of higher education finance, the “expected family contribution†(EFC) that is based on income, assets, and other factors. The EFC is neither legally guaranteed nor universally offered: Our model identifies the set of families that are disproportionately likely to not provide their full EFC. Using a common proxy for financial aid, we show, using of data from the Health and Retirement Study, that financial aid increases the educational attainment of children whose families are disproportionately likely to under-invest in education. Financial aid has no effect on the educational attainment of children in other families. The theory and empirical evidence identifies a set of children who face quantitatively important borrowing constraints for higher education.
    JEL: I22 J24
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: Fatma El-Hamidi
    Abstract: . . .
    Date: 2009–04
  6. By: Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Livanos, Ilias
    Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap in Greece. The case of Greece is interesting as it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and one of the highest levels of occupational gender segregation among OECD economies. Using micro-data from the most recently available waves (2000-2003) of the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest amortization in terms of wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap in Greece. Risk-augmented earnings functions (Hartog, 2006) indicate that Greek women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap; subject of degree; educational choices; returns; risk; Greece
    JEL: J31 J71 J24 J16
    Date: 2008–08–14
  7. By: Leigh Robinson; Taylor Robinson
    Abstract: Contemporary education design strongly emphasises stimulating, adaptable learning environments, with spaces able to support various styles of teaching and learning. Delivering successful school buildings requires a close collaborative relationship between the architect and all key stakeholders from initial briefing through to project handover. The brief should identify the opportunities and challenges to create an exciting architectural solution which is functional, aspirational and contextually responsible. The design should demonstrate adaptability and flexibility, maintainability, attention to siting, a culture of community, and sustainability. The building programme and budget also require special attention. The photographs throughout this article show a variety of examples of educational facilities in Perth, Australia, across both the primary and secondary levels. They demonstrate the role architecture can play in creating stimulating learning environments and communities of excellence.
    Date: 2009–03
  8. By: Eamonn Greville
    Abstract: These guidelines offer information on space planning and design for school principals, boards of management and designers to make permanent learning facilities available for pupils with special educational needs across the 26 counties of Ireland. The guidelines reflect many of the recent changes in the country’s educational system, changes that have placed greater demands on schools for additional space to account for a growing range of teaching and support services for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders, emotional disturbance and/or behaviour problems, speech and language difficulties, hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment, and other needs.
    Date: 2009–01
  9. By: Maimaiti, Yasheng (University of Birmingham, UK); Siebert, W. Stanley (University of Birmingham, UK)
    Abstract: We investigate girls' school dropout rates, bringing forward a novel variable: access to water. We hypothesise that a girl's education suffers when her greater water need for female hygiene purposes after menarche is not met because her household has poor access to water. For testing we use data from rural villages in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. We find that menarche is associated with an increase in the school dropout rate, and indeed the effect is weaker for girls who have good access to water. Water engineering can thus contribute significantly to reducing gender education gaps in rural areas.
    Keywords: education, gender gaps, menarche, water, China
    JEL: I21 J16 O15 L95 Q25
    Date: 2009–04
  10. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban M. Aucejo; Hanming Fang; Kenneth I. Spenner
    Abstract: We argue that once we take into account the students' rational enrollment decisions, mismatch in the sense that the intended beneficiary of affirmative action admission policies are made worse off could occur only if selective universities possess private information about students' post-enrollment treatment effects. This necessary condition for mismatch provides the basis for a new test. We propose an empirical methodology to test for private information in such a setting. The test is implemented using data from Campus Life and Learning Project (CLL) at Duke. Evidence shows that Duke does possess private information that is a statistically significant predictor of the students' post-enrollment academic performance. We also propose strategies to evaluate more conclusively whether the evidence of Duke private information has generated mismatch.
    JEL: D8 I28 J15
    Date: 2009–04
  11. By: Michael Lytton
    Abstract: Capital planning for schools should include both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. And while building condition remains an important and necessary factor in short- and long-range facility planning, by itself it is not sufficient to reveal the full range of building performance issues or to guide decision making and strategies for prudent capital investments. Functionality – sometimes referred to as “serviceability” or “fitness of purpose” – has to do with how school buildings and sites support users’ activities. Its reference points are the owner’s operating requirements that represent the purposes and objectives for which the facility was originally designed and built, plus the many new functional requirements that have inevitably arisen over time (driven by such factors as enrolment growth or decline, grade reconfiguration, trends in curriculum, technology or educational philosophy, and community uses). In terms of functionality, a school can have positive attributes – it can be safe and secure, healthy and comfortable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, even uplifting and inspirational – or negative ones – it can be overcrowded or underutilised, dilapidated or obsolete, inefficient and expensive, or even dangerous. There is a welcome and growing body of literature on links between the functional quality of educational buildings and the academic performance of the students who occupy them. This research is also consistent with new attention to the environmental aspects of schools, which are significant in terms of embodied pedagogy, the health and comfort of educators and learners, and, indeed, the long-term prospects for life on the planet.
    Date: 2009–03
  12. By: Ham, Roger (University of Western Sydney); Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) (University of Western Sydney); Wells, Robert (University of Western Sydney)
    Abstract: In modern societies, people are often classified as "White Collar" or "Blue Collar" workers: that classification not only informs social scientists about the kind of work that they do, but also about their social standing, their social interests, their family ties, and their approach to life in general. This analysis will examine the effect of an individual's psychometrically derived personality traits and status of their parents on the probability of attaining a white collar occupation over the baseline category of a blue collar occupation; controlling for human capital and other factors. The paper uses data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to estimate a random effects probit model to capture the effects on the probability of being in a white collar occupation. The results are then examined using the average marginal effects of the different conditioning variables over the whole sample. The analysis confirms the previous findings of human capital theory, but finds that personality and parental status also have significant effects on occupational outcomes. The results suggest that the magnitude of the average marginal effect of parental status is small and the effect of the personality trait "conscientiousness" is large and rivals that of education. Finally, estimates of separate models for males and females indicate that effects differ between the genders for key variables, with personality traits in females having a relatively larger effect on their occupational outcomes due to the diminished effects of education.
    Keywords: occupational choice, personality, human capital, dynasty hysteresis
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2009–04
  13. By: Giorgio Ponti
    Abstract: Thanks to financing from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (2009-2013 Programme) and other Italian funding programmes, the Campania Region has begun a project to improve the quality of its school buildings, in partnership with the research centre CISEM of Milan.1 The Educational Quality Facilities (EQF) project has a total budget of about EUR 600 million. The Campania Region will allocate the necessary funds to the municipalities and provinces for the construction and equipment involved.
    Date: 2009–02
  14. By: Budria, Santiago (University of Madeira); Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada (IAE Barcelona (CSIC)); Hartog, Joop (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We replicate Shaw (1996) who found that individual wage growth is higher for individuals with greater preference for risk taking. Expanding her dataset with more American observations and data for Germany, Spain and Italy, we find mixed support for the earlier results. We present and estimate a new model and find that in particular the wage level is sensitive to attitudes towards risk taking.
    Keywords: wage growth, risk, post-school investment
    JEL: J24 J30
    Date: 2009–04

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